Manchester City welcome Swansea City to the Etihad on Sunday for a Premier League match that many could think will be a very easy walk in the park for the Sky Blues. If you are one of those, you're really wrong.
The Swans were one of the top candidates for relegation to the Championship until the start of 2017, but it only took four games under new manager Paul Clement for the Welsh side to change completely. Three wins in those four took Swansea out of the relegation zone, and while they're still under threat of going down a division, they don't look like favorites anymore.
Their last two wins have been very impressive: the latest came at home against a very solid Southampton team thanks to a late winner from Gylfi Sigurdsson, but the most stunning victory came at Anfield against Liverpool two weeks ago. A brace from Fernando Llorente put Swansea two goals ahead, but the Reds came back and tied the game with a long time still to go in the second half. Swansea sustained the pressure, however, and another late winner from Sigurdsson gave the visitors a shocking, key victory.
Pep Guardiola clearly watched both of those wins, and he's so impressed with Swansea he thinks it's going to be one of the toughest matches of the season for the Sky Blues:
"I am really impressed [with Swansea since Paul Clement took charge]. I saw the game against Liverpool and this morning I started watching the game against Southampton. I am trying to find ways we can attack them and I can’t find it!
“It’s so complicated. When I see their games, I immediately see his [Clement’s] hands on the team. They are so well organised. There is no space between the lines, no space in the middle. When you attack outside, they defend really well the box. They can play the long balls and Llorente wins all the balls and they have quality players for the counter attack.
“It will be a real tough, tough game. I think one of the toughest games we expect before the end of the season will be on Sunday. They are in a good moment - the last four games, they won three - and especially the way they play. They won at Anfield and against Southampton - so not against normal teams, big teams. It will be really, really tough.”
Don't make me nervous, Pep. Please.